Saint Augustine arrived in Britian AD 597 to revitalise Christianity. For the next four hundred years, crudely constructed churches like this one appear across the island.
A humble friar takes a stroll around the Saxon minster at sunset.
“But Curis,” I hear you cry, “Friars didn’t exist until centuries after the Dark Ages ended. Your inclusion of Friar Tuck in the photograph above is highly anachronistic.” Well, look carefully and you’ll see Doctor Who is also in the photo to sweep your anachronism away. It’s a unique concept for a Doctor Who episode – transporting a medieval friar back a few centuries and committing all sorts of theological faux pas in the Dark Age monastic communities. And by “unique” I mean “rubbish”.
Obscure early Warhammer druid shown for scale, and perhaps further anachronisms.
This church was a Salute 2017 purchase from 1st Corps. It’s five hunks of resin that combine to form a solid-looking and (deliberately) wonky building. There’s a lot of mdf terrain on the market, but resin’s ease of assembly and feel of structural heft can’t be beaten. I particularly like the roof being half tiles and half thatch – suggesting the builders couldn’t loot enough tiles from derelict Roman structures. Another nice touch is the plaster crumbling from the exterior to reveal the non-ashlar masonry typical of churches built before the Norman Conquest.
As a special birthday treat AJ took me to Butt Road – the site of a similarly laid out church built AD 320–340. You can see the curved apse in the left of the photo below and the (modern) blocks of oak marking the position of the church’s internal posts.
Also enjoying the Late Roman church – a local Essexman passed out drunk on cans of cider.
My model church has those internal wooden posts as part of the interior detail too. You might remember seeing them already on this blog as I’ve been cheeky and used the half-painted interior as backdrops for Chaos Thugs and Friar Tuck.
As a pleasing touch, you can take the two portici off the side of the church and combine them into a thatched cottage. This will come in useful for that inevitable point when my regular opponents despair at me trotting out the church for its seventeenth game in a row.
“Fussake Curis, we’re playing a 6mm science fiction and this cottage is no better than that bloody church.”
Disappointingly, both doors on the kit are have entirely smooth and detail-free planks, which I had to paint the wooden texture onto. It seems at odds with the love and care the sculptor put into the tiles and thatch to skimp on the doors. A minor flaw.
Such a big piece of terrain is a pain to photograph. In the end I couldn’t resist sticking some goggly eyes on it.
Too late, the true meaning of Pope Benedict’s final statement becomes clear. “The church is alive.”
I want to push the modelling on the church further with:
- Adjacent burial ground with Renedra’s plastic gravestones
- Interior detailing, such as an altar, and benches for the clergy
- A base for the piece, to get rid of the awkward grassy lip
- A selection of Dark Age civilians and monks.
But the piece is finished enough for Dark Age and Early Medieval gaming.